Strengthening the role of the UN agencies
There are potentially important gains to be made in strengthening the impact of UN agencies' programmes aimed at food security through improving interagency collaboration and setting more focused goals for assistance. The introduction of the UNDAF is an important first step towards this goal. However, there are already certain lessons that might be learned from the process:
- Earlier UN-initiated processes aimed at food security, such as the World Food Summit Food Security Strategies, should be made the starting point for future efforts.
- It is important to strengthen the diagnosis that is at the heart of CCAs, and to make sure that all agencies contribute wholeheartedly to the process, especially the Bretton Woods Institutions.
- Although the UNDAF is primarily about interagency collaboration, government participation in determining the content of the programmes should be encouraged, so that the framework builds on and reinforces governments' own programmes.
- Thematic Groups on Food Security and Agriculture need to be set up in all countries of the region and be made as inclusive as possible with respect to the different agencies that need to be involved in food security issues.
- Strong links between the UNDAF and the World Bank-promoted Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF) will be essential.
The UN agencies also have an important role to play in mobilizing substantially increased resources for poverty reduction and food security programmes in the region. However, finding ways to raise the scale of external assistance to the levels required, without inducing further dependence, is one of the most complex issues confronting any initiative that might be catalysed by the UN.